Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Twenty Fascinating facts about Paul Revere beyond his "Midnight Ride"


Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley

Many of us had to memorize parts of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere in grade school. It immortalized the Boston Silversmith, but there was so much more to him. I was looking through my copy of The Book of This Day in History by Jim Dailey. When I came across the entry for April 18, 1775, marking the Paul Revere’s ride to alert those in Concord, Massachusetts that the British were coming, I got curious about the man. The things I knew about him: he was a successful silversmith, had been married twice and had 16 children and he was a patriot. 

Here is my list of fascinating facts after a little research on Paul Revere

1.   He helped organize an intelligence and alarm system to keep watch over the British troop movements before and during the Revolutionary War. This system consisted of men who would observe and report. He was such a well-known courier that The London Times listed his name as being wanted for spying. I’m impressed he avoided being arrested. However, during his “Midnight Ride” through a British Checkpoint his horse was confiscated.

2.   In 1748 at 13, he began his apprenticeship with his father to be a silversmith. Paul never attended college but had a brilliant mind.  

3.   In 1756, he briefly served in the army during the French and Indian War. He wasn’t old enough to take over his father’s silversmith shop after his death in 1754, so this was a way for him to earn a consistent wage.

4.   1758 at 21 he opened his own silversmith shop. He’d already married Sarah Orr in 1757. 

creamer  created by Paul Revere


5.   Business was poor due to the economic stresses like the Stamp Act on the economy. So, he learned dentistry to add to his income.

6.   In 1765, he joined the Sons of Liberty and was an active participant in the Boston Tea Party. Three shiploads of tea were dumped in the harbor after the patriots had blocked the harbor for several days, not allowing the ships to unload their cargo.

7.   He served as a courier for the Boston Public Safety, traveling 18 times to New York and Philadelphia to report on the political unrest in Boston. The colonists were monitoring the movement of the British.

8.   In 1775, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War he continued as a courier and printed currency Congress used to pay the Colonial Army. He also created silver engravings of the Boston Massacre and the British entering Boston, which he titled “the insolent parade.” He made many other politically themed engravings.

Bloody Massacre Engraving


9.   He served as an officer in the Revolutionary War after the British overtook Boston and he had to flee with his family.

10.       If there was a need, Revere stepped up to meet it. He designed and built a gunpowder factory for the Colonial Army.

11.       John Warren, a close friend, had died at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Paul went with Warren’s brother to find his body amongst mass graves on March 21,1776. Although his body was badly decomposed, Paul was able to identify him by dental work he’d preformed on John. Was this the first use of dental work to identify a body?

12.       Seeing the need to expand his business after the war, with a slow economy, he began producing things for the masses rather than the wealthy class. Among those items were silver teaspoons and belt buckles.

13.       After the war, the economy was depressed. Revere saw the need to learn more technology and expanded beyond silver and gold to other metals. By 1788 he bought a furnace and began to produce cast iron items like sash-window weights, stove backs, fireplace tools sold to the masses in Boston.

14.       Revere used artisans to create various items in his factories and, rather than treat them as common laborers, he gave them benefits that were not available in other factories. He offered higher wages to match their skills, flexible working hours and liquor on site.

15.       Revere was always looking for ways to expand his business. He was constantly learning from other manufacturers ways to make his factory better. Always looking for consumer needs, he expanded to cooper and created the first sheet cooper machine. The sheet cooper was sold to the Navy to coat their ships and was used to cover the original wood dome at the Massachusetts State House. He also developed cooper hinges, spikes and other items that he also sold to the Navy and manufacturers.

16.       He learned to cast bronze cannons, which he sold to the federal and state government and some private clients.

17.       And his most noteworthy creation was casting bells. During the Second Great Awakening, a revival that brought many to The Lord, new churches needed bells. In 1792, he became known as one of the world’s best bell casters. He produced over a hundred bells. Some are still in operation. One is even at the National Museum of Singapore.

18.       Paul saw the need to standardize production and worked toward creating standardized instructions for creating items so they could be produced faster and cheaper.

Portrait done in 1810

19.       He also supported Alexander Hamilton’s campaign for standardized currency for the nation. At this time, each state had its own currency and often Revere found himself unable to get raw materials for his factories because of insufficient funds in circulation.

20.       He was 83 when he died on May 10, 1818. Only his daughter Maria Revere Balestier outlived him. Can you imagine outliving 15 of your 16 children.

I was very impressed with all that he accomplished as a patriot, an entrepreneur, and a businessman. 

Anyone have Revere Ware?

 He passed on a legacy of good business practices that continues today. Paul Revere was more than one of several guys who warned his fellow-patriots that the British were on the way. If you haven’t read the poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, click here.

Did you know about the Revere Legacy?

Cindy Ervin Huff is an Award-winning author of Historical and Contemporary Romance. She loves infusing hope into her stories of broken people. She addicted to reading and chocolate. Her idea of a vacation is visiting historical sites and an ideal date with her hubby of almost fifty years would be live theater.Visit her  website Or on Social media:


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  1. Thank you for this very informative post. What an amazing man Mr. Revere was! And yes, I have Revere pans in my home. It's heartbreaking that he outlived all but one of his children.

  2. Mostly excellent - - just a few corrections:
    It was Joseph Warren and not John Warren who died at Bunker (Breed's) Hill. In fact, Paul Revere named one of his children Joseph Warren Revere.
    Which leads me to the other correction: Joseph Warren Revere, Mary Revere (the 2nd child he named Mary), Harriet Revere, and John (the third son he named John) all outlived their father. Still a very low number.
    This comes from this - - page.